The five-judge Constitution bench of Supreme Court of India, led by CJI DY Chandrachud, has concluded nine days of arguments and reserved judgment on a petition filed by Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena against the Eknath Shinde faction.
The case was being followed from all quarters of the country considering its importance in terms of constitutionality of the act led by Eknath Shinde and his supporter MLAs.
The petition had sought to invalidate the formation of the Eknath Shinde-led government and dismiss the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's order that called for a trust vote last year.
The 5-judge Constitution Bench dealing with the political crisis in Maharashtra was on Thursday pressed by senior advocates Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal to reinstate Uddhav Thackeray, who was forced to resign as the chief minister on June 29 last year after a revolt by the rebels led by Eknath Shinde who was sworn in as the new chief minister.
𝗟𝗼𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗳𝗳 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲: 𝗖𝗝𝗜
The 5-judge Bench concluded the hearing going on Since February on Thursday with presiding Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud reserved the ruling, saying a lot of stuff to reflect and decide the case.
Senior advocate Dr Abhishek Singhvi called for re-establishing Uddhav Thackeray as the Maharashtra chief minister who was removed with the illegal decisions by then Governor Koshyari to save the Tenth Schedule of Constitution on defections from getting jettisoned.
𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗦𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗿𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗵 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿, 𝗮𝗿𝗴𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗵𝘃𝗶
He urged the 5-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud to prevent Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde reducing the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution on Defections to a dead letter by adopting a 3-step novel procedure to circumvent it.
The Bench also comprising Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha has to rule itself or refer the matter to a 7-judge Bench since it would otherwise override another 2016 judgment by a 5-judge bench in case of Nabam Rebia of Arunachal Pradesh on the similar issues.
𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗵𝘃𝗶 𝗮𝗻𝘀𝘄𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗯𝘆 𝗖𝗝𝗜
Arguing on behalf of former CM Uddhav Thackeray who was ousted with the help of then Governor Koshyari, he said the Shinde group went to Assam to join hands with the BJP to form another government and it would not have been possible but for the Governor's invalid order to Thackeray to take the trust vote and calling Shinde to form the government.
He was responding to the pointed questions by Chief Justice Chandrachud on how the court could reinstate Thackeray who resigned on June 29. He said Thackeray had to resign becaue of the prior illegal order of the Governor and moreover participation of Thackeray in the trust vote has no relevance. He also sought the 9-judge Bench ruling in case of former Karnataka CM Bommai to assert that it can order status quo ante.
Singhvi said the Shinde group escaped the tenth schedule with a 3-step novel process: 1. Disable Speaker (deputy speaker in this case) by notice so that he can't touch the rebels, 2. Resolution forwarded to the Governor and 3. The Act of swearing in Shinde.
He said if this tactic is allowed to prevail, it will reduce the tenth schedule a vanishing point and there will be a jungle law. Singhvi said there were four options available to the rebels: Resign and contest, or go to the Election Commission, or file complaint to the EC or merger.
Singhvi added that the law also allows dissent outlets within the party.
The last to argue on behalf of the Thackeray group was senior advocate Devdutt Kamat from Mumbai, quoting the Shinde groups submissions before the Election Commission claiming split of Shiv Sena.
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